food, not punches
by Mad Dog
people, a good argument is one they win. Unfortunately that’s not
what the experts mean. They’re more concerned with form rather
than content, much the way guys look at women.
many times have you sat around talking to someone and wondered,
“How come with all this chit-chat we still haven’t cured the
world’s ills?” If you’re like most people, the thought simply
hasn’t occurred to you. After all, you have better things to think
about, like whether that garbled message on your answering machine
that said “You’ve got it!” was from the producers of Survivor
III, that Internet start-up that wants to buy your idea for a power
blackout screen saver, or the STD clinic.
I, on the other hand, think
about these things. When I’m not thinking about what’s for
lunch, what’s for dinner, and why we pay to use free weights. I
wonder about why there’s always so much fighting going on. For
instance, right now they’re fighting in West Timor, Zimbabwe, the
Philippines, and the apartment next door, just to name a few hot
spots. Can’t they just argue without fighting?
Even though I hate arguing,
experts say it’s healthy. They’ve actually done studies which
prove that couples who argue well stay together longer. The
imperative phrase, of course, is “argue well.” To most people, a
good argument is one they win. Unfortunately that’s not what the
experts mean. They’re more concerned with form rather than
content, much the way guys look at women. They say a fair,
well-balanced, and open argument is healthy. They say winning
isn’t everything. They’d obviously make real bad Little League
Here’s an example: George W. Bush and Al Gore debating is a
good argument, in spite of its being dangerously close to Gore
debating an unarmed opponent. They follow basic, structured rules of
debating, which for some reason is called forensics, probably
because it’s a dead art and what we’re seeing is a political
autopsy. Or maybe it’s because the ratings stink like a decaying
Chaplin was pie-ed. Soupy Sales was pie-ed every day. Even Bill
Gates was pie-ed and he took it in his usual good manner—he bought
the people who pie-ed him and released an improved, though buggy,
version of them.
Another example is Anna Nicole Smith. She did a good job of arguing
when she convinced a judge that she deserves $449.7 million from her
dead husband’s estate. As far as I’m concerned any 26-year-old
who will sleep with an 89-year-old man deserves that kind of money.
Of course she also should be made to have a warning label tattooed
on her that prospective husbands can’t miss.
On the other hand, a bad
argument is one that ends up in a fight. And since it’s obvious we
can’t all get along, we need to find a better way to resolve
disputes. I propose food fights.
Yes, food fights. They’re
safe, relatively harmless, and fun. No one can go through a food
fight and still be in a cranky mood. Well, not unless they’re
being pelted with raw chitlins, hard boiled eggs still in the shell,
and last year’s Christmas fruit cake. Is there anyone who’s
watched Animal House without thinking how much fun a food
fight would be, especially if John Belushi hadn’t been so stupid
and was still around to join in?
They understand this
concept in Bunol, Spain, where each August they hold a festival
called La Tomatina. The highlight is when they dump five truck-loads
of over-ripe tomatoes in the streets and 30,000 people pelt each
other with the squishy fruit. Why they do this is lost to history.
One story says that years ago some kids got bored at an annual
balloon festival and started throwing tomatoes at the balloons.
Another version says it stems from a family fight. Either way, you
can bet there are no fistfights during La Tomatina. Hell, people are
too busy holding up French fries trying to catch some tomato paste
as it flies by to think about fighting.
Then there’s pie-ing, which has a long, time-honored
tradition. Charlie Chaplin was pie-ed. Soupy Sales was pie-ed every
day. Even Bill Gates was pie-ed and he took it in his usual good
manner—he bought the people who pie-ed him and released an
improved, though buggy, version of them.
it be better to lob a few Mrs. Smith’s Banana Cream pies than to
end up on Jerry Springer’s “I Got Tired of Fighting With My Wife
So I Hacked Her Up Into Little Pieces and Shipped Her C.O.D. to
people don’t appreciate being pie-ed. A couple of years ago
members of the Biotic Baking Brigade were arrested in San Francisco
for tossing a cherry pie at Mayor Willie Brown. They were found
guilty of battery, he was found guilty of having no sense of humor,
and no matter how you look at it, it’s still better than a duel in
Union Square at dawn. Right, like they could wake up the homeless
that early to get them to clear enough space for a duel.
In Amsterdam (motto:
“Illegal? What’s that mean?”) a group of protestors recently
stormed into a TV studio and sprayed chocolate sauce on a right-wing
extremist from Belgium. It was unclear why they did this, though I
suspect it was because they didn’t want to waste any gouda.
Unfortunately this food fight wasn’t harm-free—two protestors
were injured in the melee. This brings up a good point: Even a food
fight is unfair if both parties aren’t adequately armed.
That’s why I think
everyone should keep pies and ripe tomatoes on hand at all times.
Wouldn’t it be better to lob a few Mrs. Smith’s Banana Cream
pies than to end up on Jerry Springer’s “I Got Tired of Fighting
With My Wife So I Hacked Her Up Into Little Pieces and Shipped Her
C.O.D. to Alaska” show? Don’t you think a few well-placed
tomatoes would make the Israelis and Palestinians calm down? Well,
providing they didn’t argue over whether they had to be kosher or
not. And wouldn’t it be nice to know that a few squirts of
Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce might eliminate another terrorist
Peace talks could be held
at an All-U-Can-Eat buffet. Marital counseling would consist of a
trip to the supermarket. And instead of throwing a fit you could
throw a handful of pudding. Hmmmm, I wonder what they serve for
dinner when you accept a Nobel Peace Prize?
©2000 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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